by Ashley Roe
– The Capitol Hill Times –
Capitol Hill is alive with buzz about the newest Bavarian restaurant and bier hall, Von Trapp’s, which opened Sunday.
Located near 12 Avenue and East Spring Street, the 10,000 square foot space is massive compared to other Capitol Hill restaurants. Between the luscious wood booths and tables on the main floor and two mezzanines, there’s enough room to seat 428 people comfortably.
The work-power behind Von Trapp’s is a veteran group who have created and helped run some of the most well known restaurants in Seattle, including Poquitos, Bastille Cafe and Macleod’s Scottish Pub. So it’s no surprise this dream team pulled out all the stops for the Von Trapp’s collaboration.
Von Trapp’s interior comes straight out of Europe, literally. Decked out by restaurateurs James Weimann and Deming Maclise, the space is furnished with Austrian fireplaces, Viennese chandeliers and doors from Belgium the pair salvaged or bought while on scouting trips throughout Europe.
“The concept behind the tables and chairs was inspired by the Opera House in Munich,” said Rich Fox, one of the operational owners.
Von Trapp’s may be sprinkled with touches of taxidermy to continue with the usual Capitol Hill bar scene, but the grub will transport foodies straight to Germany.
“Chef Pete Fjosne traveled to Germany and researched these Bavarian foods closely,” Fox said. “It was enjoyable to watch the concept for the food expand into how the dishes are now presented.”
With pretzels, sauerkraut and a variety of sausages to name a few, eaters will come hungry and leave satisfied with these house-made and locally sourced foods.
What better way to wash down Bavarian food but with a beer. Three bar stations offer a wide variety of drinks that are sure to please everyone.
“The 25 beers on tap are about half European and half West Coast beers, trying to focus on local brands and seasonality,” Fox said.
Likewise, half of the taps will stay fixed and the others will rotate.
All together, there will be about 100 beers total to choose from including the bottled beers.
“By trying to stay away from similarity of what other bars might offer, the beer selection spans the spectrum of beers.” Fox said.
The cocktail menu includes many beer-based cocktails, like the Roll Pin Shandy made of scotch, pear brandy, lemon, orgeat, double IPA (currently Ninkasi Tricerahops) and Boker’s bitters. The opposite tastes of the beer along with the scotch and brandy balance each other out to create a smooth and tasty concoction.
Sticking to the theme, the wine list is almost fully of European selections, aside from two California choices.
“Like Poquitos, Von Trapp’s is looking to stay neighborhood and family oriented,” Fox said. “Minors are allowed up to a certain area in the space, so families can enjoy Von Trapp’s, too.”
Five Bocce ball courts fill up the middle expanse of Von Trapp’s, specifically placed so anyone can partake in the activity.
“The Bocce ball idea was a late component provoked by the size of the building itself,” said operating owner Rich Fox.
With two massive photos of the Swiss Alps overlooking the Bocce ball courts, players and onlookers are hinted back to the famous “Do-Re-Mi” backdrop from the namesake’s “Sound of Music.”
The courts are doled out between reservations and walk-ins, and two more courts will soon be added to an outdoor patio area in the spring so more people can enjoy the game at once.
For additional gaming, a shuffleboard table is tucked away in the eastern mezzanine.
When it comes to having the makings of a successful bar and restaurant, Von Trapp’s seems to have every area covered.
912 12th Ave.